Research on farming systems is being carried out in the farmers’ fields and homestead with their management for developing or testing, validating and disseminating technologies to the farmers. On-farm research and technology transfer activities are performed through demonstration (jute village/block/plot), training, field visit, exhibition/fair, mass media, focus group discussion, leaflets, folders, booklets distribution and other technology transfer tools. The Jute Farming Systems Division (JFSD) conducts jute-oriented cropping system and research activities also include in some projects involving crops, livestock, fisheries and agro-forestry. Improved cropping patterns, winter vegetables with jute seed, jute seed in agro-forestry, year-round vegetables in the homestead, livestock rearing, vaccination, de-worming, and fish culture technologies in the farmers’ environment, each generated very positive and encouraging responses with high net income.
Key words: Farming system, jute, technology, cropping pattern, achievement, challenges
Introduction Farming is an integrated production system comprising crops, livestock, fisheries and agro-forestry in Bangladesh. To meet household needs, farmers produce diversified goods (Gilbert et al., 2001). On-farm research, on the other hand, is an indispensable method for developing and validating agricultural technology. It can be described in its simplest terms as research carried out at farmers’ field with their management (Hossain and Haque, 2012). While formal agricultural research in Bangladesh began in 1880. At the turn of the century, the provincial government began systematic research on jute (Jabbar and Abedin, 1989). In 1951, at Manik Mia Avenue, Dhaka, the Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) was established and at that time nine regional and sub-stations were then established in various regions of Bangladesh. On-farm research was introduced in Bangladesh in 1957 focusing to encourage farmers for using fertilizers. Studies on cropping patterns and component technologies under the Agronomy Division at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) began with on-farm systems research in 1974 (Jabbar and Abedin, 1989). In 1979, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) launched a National Coordinated Cropping Systems Research Project (CSRP) with the participation of BJRI and other institutes (Gilbert et al., 2001). BJRI conducted Farming Systems Research (FSR) activities under the National Coordinated Farming Systems Research Programme in four agro-ecological sites, such as Kalampur, Dhaka; Kanaipur, Faridpur; Vaskarkhilla, Kishoreganj and Paglapir, Rangpur (Rahman et al., 1990). Since 1996, under the coordination of BARC, the National Coordinated Farming Systems Research and Development Programme (FSRD) was being implemented at one FSRD site within the BJRI (Gilbert et al., 2001). Until the establishment of the On-farm Research Division in 1991 and then the Jute Farming System Division (JFSD) in 1997, on-farm research activities were performed under the Agronomy Division in BJRI. JFSD performs research activities in farmers’ environments and bears the responsibilities to transfer and disseminate the agricultural technologies to the farmers. In view of validation, fine tuning and also popularization of the technologies, village/block/plot demonstration, field days, training, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), seminar and workshops are carried out for technology dissemination at farm level. On farm or adaptive research are strengthened and encouraged in the context of varying socio-economic settings of the Jute and Allied Fibre (JAF) production through the involvement of government organization, non-government organization or private sector. Feedback is received by linking end users, researchers and extension personnel. In addition, it helps to determine the suitability of technology and the constraints of farm-level implementation of technologies. Although the farming system consists of crops, livestock